I joined the Home Office just after Grenfell Tower fire when there was a huge spotlight on the department’s fire safety policy. I wanted to be a part of such an important area of work and took the opportunity when a vacancy came up. I’ve been here 3 years now, although I have been in the Civil Service for more than a decade.
My day-to-day work will usually involve liaison with colleagues across government including a combination of briefings, slide packs, submissions, Parliamentary Questions, ministerial engagement and meetings with external stakeholders. Policy work is unlike anything I had ever encountered before. What I enjoy most is that moment when, after reading so much information, reaching out to those people who are so enthusiastic about the work they do, and having meetings to dive into those issues further, you suddenly find yourself deep into the conversation, offering your knowledge and opinions. It’s the epiphany of it all making sense and knowing that, even if you’ve not cracked the puzzle yet, you’ve got yourself on the board at least.
There is a real eagerness in the department for everyone to work together to see projects through whilst taking opportunities to develop their skills beyond what they “need” for their role. There’s also flexible working, something my friends and family are all very envious of, as I can work from the office or at home and spread my working hours across the week to fit my schedule.
The Home Office offers a huge spectrum of incredibly important, constantly evolving work. It can be intense and sometimes exhausting, but it’s a department that encourages you to be yourself, to look after yourself and develop your skills as much as possible.